I'm Still In Pains —Yinka Ayefele
Q: What informed the song Oga mi l'o fi keregbe ran mi l'omi in the album entitled Bitter Experience?
A: The song came naturally, but people exaggerated it. If I said, Oga mi l'o fi keregbe ran mi l'omi, I didn't say Oga l'o ti mi subu. (Though my boss sent me to the stream to fetch water, he's not responsible for my misfortune). It is like I am not the original composer of the song, it was Baba Orlando Owoh that first sang it. Ohun oju mi ri enu mi ko le so, etc., meaning what my eyes saw can't be explained. But because I was a victim of circumstance and I sang the song, people read meaning to it. And it was linked to my Oga's (Kola Olawuyi) programme, Nnkan Nbe. Though it is expected, because if anything bad happens to Yinka Ayefele or Kola Olawuyi or any member of his staff, people would want to relate it to the programme because of its nature. But I thank God, everything is settled now.
Q: But it was in the course of discharging your duties that you had the accident?
A: Yes. Anything that happens to Yinka Ayefele was allowed by God. And there is a purpose for it.
Q: So, why did you apologise to Kola Olawuyi?
A: Because I want to be in good terms with everybody and be at peace with my God. I don't need enemies now.
Q: Have there been any changes since you reconciled with Kola Olawuyi?
A: Yes, there have been lots of changes. We exchange telephone calls and I've been to his office several times. He has also visited me at home and we now have cordial relationship.
Q: Do you have any plans to go back to broadcasting since you're now a successful musician?
A: Yes, I enjoy broadcasting and I am still looking forward to going back to it. My busy schedule has kept me away from broadcasting. You know I am now committed to music. Nevertheless, I had a programme on Voice of Ekiti sometime ago entitled Ayefele on FM, which I stopped because of my busy schedule and stress. But I still wish to go back to it. I still produce musical jingles whenever I have the time. Just last week, I produced three musical jingles. It is my job and I don't think I can stop it. I can't quit broadcasting.
Q: You started as a broadcaster and later, you became a musician. Where did the music talent come from?
A: Ah, I didn't know I would become a broadcaster because I started as Santa Claus with the FRCN, Ibadan, during Christmas period and it was discovered that I had a very good voice. Baba Shodimu was the head of programmes then. He was also my producer and paired with Mr. Tunde Olaniyi, who was presenting an early morning chitchat programme. So, the journey began from there and I didn't really know I would become a broadcaster because I was trained as an in-house radio announcer. I went there I because I couldn't go further in my education after my secondary school certificate examination due to financial constraints. So, I joined FRCN and was trained as an in-house announcer.
Q: Do you now have any plans to go further in your education?
A: Yes. I'm making plans to go back and study Law. But I don't want to talk much about that now.
Q: How come you are so fluent in English language despite the fact that you did not go beyond secondary school?
A: My father was a school headmaster and I grew up knowing him as a teacher.
Q: Oh, is that why you your hairstyle is synonymous with that of headmasters of old?
A: No (laughs), that's just my own style. You know, every artiste has what distinguishes him from the others.
Q: Do you have any advice for other artistes, who have gone through or are presently going through your kind of predicament?
A: I just want to tell them to work harder and God will crown their effort. You don't allow your problem to overcome you, instead, try and overcome your problems. I have been having persistent pains. As I told you, from day one, I have been experiencing this pain since I had the accident about nine years ago. Normally, I always hope to go home and rest, but I can't sleep because I have about 56 staff working with me. Music might not be the way out. I didn't know I would become a musician too. I work round the clock, despite my pain. So, don't look at your problem, see yourself overcoming it and you will overcome it. At least, work the way you can work to achieve what you can achieve and God will crown your efforts.
Q: Do you have any plans to quit music some day?
A: I don't think I can ever quit music and I pray music doesn't leave me too.
Q: How do you feel playing Alujo on a wheel chair while others are dancing?
A: Whenever I see people dancing to my music, I see them dancing my mind. I also dance even as I am on the wheel chair. I feel so happy and most times, I feel like jumping out of my wheel chair to dance with them because I see them doing what I intend to do.
Q: So, what's your happiest moment?
A: My happiest moment has not come. I don't have a happy moment now.
Q: Or is it when you will stand on your feet and walk?
A: No, it hasn't come. But let's wait and see.
Q: When was your saddest moment?
A: That was in Lagos. My car actually broke down on my way to a show and my boys set out to look for another vehicle to convey me to Ilesa. So I decided to go to a nearby filling station to relax. As I was trying to move my wheel chair into the filling station, a man just stopped me and said “eh...eh... we don't allow beggars here!" I cried and I told him I was not a beggar. I told him he was sure he didn't know I was the one. And even if he knew it was Yinka Ayefele, I don't think it is right to chase off anybody because he's disabled.
Q: What message do you have for your fans?
A: I don't want them to relent in their support for me because they are the ones behind Yinka Ayefele.
Q: Why are you not opting out of Aloy Music, your record label, unlike some other musicians, who change theirs quite often?
A: Going from one marketer to another is like an adulterous woman. I don't think it is wise to do so and that's why I have been with him. I don't want to be adulterous in business. Though marketers are not hundred per cent faithful, the CEO of Aloy Music once made a vow that if he dares cheat me with my condition and the pains I go through by producing my works, God should multiply my problems and make them his.